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My Tattoo Journey

For a while I have been wanting a tattoo. I wanted leaves… Falling leaves with a bigger red leaf and I wanted it on the inside of my left wrist because it is special to me and the left has a connection to the heart.

I found a painting of a red leaf I wanted for a basis. I wanted veins in the leaf to represent life and I wanted this leaf to look more like it was falling. I wanted two smaller brown leaves and if they could have the veins great but it was more important to have the veins on the red leaf. All these leaves represent family and how we all fall from the same tree but don’t have to be the same and it’s ok to be different.

Last year I was invited to a tattoo party in Hagerstown. Great! This is a perfect opportunity to get the tattoo I want. This guy has to be good since they do this party every year and even several times a year.

This was such a fun party with so many different types of people: black, white, redneck, lesbian, divorced and young. The party was in the garage and everyone brought something as well as their own chairs. At first I watched and soaked it all in before I started joining in on conversations.

This one girl wasn’t quite 21 but she got her first tattoo when she was 14. I couldn’t believer her mother would allow that but she sat next to her daughter nodding as the daughter talked about all her tattoos and how her job formally stated to her that she was not to have visible tattoos yet she continued to get them.

There was another, 19-year-old lesbian. She tells me that she isn’t invited to many parties anymore since she always turns at least one woman away from men and onto women, namely her. One of the men at the party seemed to really enjoy my conversation with her as she confidently told me she was sure she could get me to try women as I explained to her why that would never happen and in detail what I love about men.

So after 11 hours of waiting and quite a few Miller Lites it was my turn. Thankfully, I was drinking Miller Lites and only had a slight buzz. He drew it out and I was agreeable but figured it would be even better on me since it was just a sketch. I asked if he could do a drop shadow on the big leaf and he said he could. In the end the drop shadow was a line, he added more lines and it was wrong.

I know… It’s my own fault and I made sure Mini Red saw me cry over this because she has stated she wants a tattoo when she is older. I’ve told her she needs to be set in her job before she even considers it and she better be damn sure about what she does before she does it. I will do everything in my power to make sure she does it right if that is what she wants.

Anyhow, I have contemplated for almost a year now what to do about it. I thought about removal but decided I needed to find an artist who could take what I have an enhance. I had pieces but didn’t know how to bring it together and there was a filler piece I knew I needed. I have asked anyone and everyone who they go to and the artists span the DC, Virginia and Maryland areas all the way up to Baltimore. Trying to figure out who to go to is near impossible.  So I finally find this final filler piece and I start asking around again. I checked several out and in the end I FINALLY called someone close by in Maryland. I wanted to find someone in Virginia because I found out if you get a tattoo in Maryland you have to wait a year to give blood due to Maryland’s tattoo regulations where as if you get your tattoo done in Virginia you don’t have to wait.

I set up an appointment for a consultation. I didn’t feel very welcome from the minute I got there. I thought it was just me but by the end of the day I figured out it wasn’t me. So I brought pictures and told my story and my thoughts of what to do moving forward about adding to the current tattoo but all he talked about was cover up and something completely different from what I started with. He and another artist suggested I get my current tattoo removed and start over. They were confident I would have no problems having it removed and suggested I go to Jinx Proof Tattoo since they not only tattoo but also do laser removal. When I got home I called and they had an opening for a consultation in a few hours.

I headed to Georgetown but my biggest fear was parking. Ends up it’s one of Jinx Proof founders, Karl, who does the laser removal. He looked at my tattoo and  said it couldn’t be removed. He said the colors I had would just get darker but he asked if I had I thought of adding to it. I told him that is what I wanted but the last place said it could only be covered up. That’s when he went and got Susan. I told her about my thoughts and showed her my pictures and she got a pen and started drawing on my arm. I was amazed by her talent. She was spot on and what she drew was better than I even imagined. I was so excited especially when she told me she had time right then to tattoo it for me. I couldn’t think of any reason not to so she set up and I signed all the papers and we got going.

I was so excited and nervous all at once, my stomach was in knots. My day had certainly been a journey.

Karl had come over to watch as Susan was tattooing me and I told him I couldn’t believe where my day had taken me and how happy I was to  have come to Jinx Proof and found Susan. He said it is very hard for people to find the right tattoo artist and so many make the mistakes like I did. I definitely hope Mini Red learns from my mistake.

My parents have talked about getting tattoos and I know just where they will go. I would recommend Jinx Proof to everyone.

It’s amazing how I used to try and hide my arm but I don’t have to anymore. I love my new tattoo.

Oh and the new little red leaf on the bottom right is Mini Red.

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4 comments on “My Tattoo Journey

  1. We waited all this time for this? What’s up with the grandma tattoo? If you’re brave enough to put it on your lower arm, you should have gone a little crazy Ms Red!

    I leave the crazy to you since you can do it so much better – Red

  2. Damn, the whole way through I’m like, “shoot I wish she emailed me!” I’m like the Queen of Tattoos. I would have told you to go to Top Notch on U Street. I just looked at them, they have 28 reviews on Yahoo, all 5 star. That’s impressive, but I love them, so it makes sense. And my 2nd recommendation was Wrecking Balm, which I haven’t tried, but heard good things about to remove tats.

    I’m glad you got it all figured out though, and it looks GREAT!!!!!!

    Thanks Chica! So glad to read how happy you have been. Maybe a HH sometime? -Red

  3. That is AWESOME – obviously we need to see each other more as I never saw the bad one! But the new one is gorgeous!!

  4. Showed my bro this post yesterday after a talk about chicks and tats – he’s a fan of the new one!

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